Bulla Takes Another Step As Heart Safe Community

The Bulla community has welcomed a new heart-starting device, with a publicly accessible automated external defibrillator (AED) gifted as part of the town’s Heart Safe Community program.

The program is a year-long, joint initiative between Ambulance Victoria (AV) and the Heart Foundation, which equips residents of communities across the state with the skills to take life-saving action when someone suffers a cardiac arrest.

Bulla’s new AED is located at The Black Horse Hotel, 80 Bulla Rd, Bulla.

Bulla Heart Safe Community program lead Kathryn Addicott standing in front of The Black Horse Hotel together with hotel manager Rahul Chandhok while holding the new automated external defibrillator device.

Bulla Heart Safe Community program lead Kathryn Addicott and The Black Horse Hotel manager Rahul Chandhok with the new AED.

AV paramedic and Bulla Heart Safe Community program lead, Kathryn Addicott, said the new AED is an important step in boosting the town’s ability to respond to a cardiac arrest.

“AEDs are used to attempt to shock the heart back into rhythm following a cardiac arrest – which is when a person’s heart suddenly stops beating,” she said.

“Cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere.

“About 20 Victorians suffer a cardiac arrest every day and only one in 10 survive.

“Bystander intervention makes a big difference – when a patient in cardiac arrest receives CPR and a shock from an AED before paramedics arrive, their chance of survival more than doubles.”

AEDs are simple to operate and Ms Addicott said locals and visitors to Bulla should feel confident to use one regardless of whether they had received training to do so.

“If someone is in cardiac arrest and an AED is available, simply open it and follow the instructions,” she said.

“AEDs are safe and easy to use and will not deliver a shock unless it is necessary.”

Ms Addicott said it is important all AEDs in the community are registered with AV, to ensure Triple Zero (000) call-takers can direct people to them in an emergency.

Registered AEDs in Bulla and across Victoria can be located at registermyaed.ambulance.vic.gov.au.

There are 30 Heart Safe Communities across the state, and Bulla is one of 12 towns currently completing the program.

Ms Addicott said the aim is to help locals feel confident to try save the life of a fellow community member in a medical emergency.

“Anyone can save a life in three simple steps: Call (call Triple Zero 000), Push (perform CPR) and Shock (use an AED),” she said.

Heart Foundation Victorian General Manager Chris Enright said the partnership with AV continues to help raise awareness and teach people what to do in cardiac arrest.

“We know how effective our Heart Safe Community program can be and how important it is for the local community to drive it to embed change at a grassroots level,” she said.

“Ultimately, we hope every Victorian community can be ‘Heart Safe’.”

Ms Addicott also encouraged people to sign up to the GoodSAM app, which is a life-saving smartphone app that connects Victorians in cardiac arrest with members of the community who are willing to start CPR in the critical minutes before paramedics arrive.

“Anyone who knows hands-only CPR can save a life by becoming a GoodSAM Responder today,” she said.

“You don’t have to be first-aid qualified or have a medical background, you just need to be willing and able to do hands-only CPR, be over 18 years of age and have access to a smartphone.”

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